By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers
Our seven-week tour of the Atlantic Provinces of Canada included so much, such variety and so many memories that, if I told you about each and every place, each would lose its significance. Therefore, I’m going to give you a brief synopsis of a few places that, in my opinion, you won’t want to miss while you’re there. I’m sure all of these I’ve written about in past episodes, but I’m looking back in retrospect at the ones that stand out the most in my memory.
FLOWERPOTS – We were able to see many views of the world-famous Bay of Fundy – this was the “fundiest.” Located at Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick, the Hopewell Rocks, also known at “the flowerpots,” are
interesting monolithic outcroppings visible in their entirety at low tide. Six hours later when the water rises more than 40 feet they become tiny offshore islands. The Bay of Fundy is probably the most famous attraction of the Maritimes, but there is so much more to experience.
THE TATTOO – I was expecting an evening watching a conglomeration of bodies marching around an arena. Nothing more. Those expectations fell far short of the spectacular show we witnessed. Yes, the ranks-and-files did their thing, several times, and each time was a bit of a thrill with marchers wearing traditional uniforms. There were enjoyable circus acts; vocal numbers by rich-voiced singers (both individually and in choirs); competition among military units; performing police groups, several thousand participants, lights, noises, music, and other sensory sensations to keep everyone entertained. Officially named the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo held annually in a modern arena in Halifax, the 2014 edition will be July 1-8. Better get your tickets early.
SCREECHING IN — If you’re a C.F.A., you will become a Newfie when you kiss the cod at a Screech In. Our caravan of 45 people ,whose backgrounds span the gamut from technology to farming, all sorts of folks with different assessments of what is fun – and yet I doubt if any of them didn’t think the Screech In was A BLAST! Giving you the specifics of the ceremony would diminish the excitement, so I’ll just say that changing from a C.F.A. (we “Come From Away”) to a Newfie (Newfoundlander) is filed in our memory banks forever.
UGLY STICK CONCERTS — As we walked into the Prime Berth Fishing Museum, I glanced at the collection of broom sticks with tin cans on top and boots at the base. An hour later when I saw the sheer joy in Monique’s eyes as she banged out an Ugly Stick percussion accompaniment to local Bill’s guitar-playing, I suggested
that we buy one. And when fellow-traveler Ron bought one, Monique proposed that they play a concert at that evening’s Fantasy Tours caravan barbeque and potluck. That was the start of something big and spontaneous. We took turns thumping the Ugly Sticks, with even the most laid-back of the group movin’ his feet when forced to join the music-making.
After five more members of the troupe bought Ugly Sticks, the ensemble performed several times after that, including with a band that was playing at an RV park days later on Prince Edward Island, wishing that they had discovered this homiest of rhythm instruments earlier. The band had never heard of Ugly Sticks, but I’m certain that by now it’s part of their selection of instruments.
THE CABOT TRAIL – This two-lane road undulates as it plies its way on Cape Breton Island, on the northeastern part of Nova Scotia. It goes on and on, embracing the coastline for mile after mile, and cuts across the interior. We were aboard a tour bus, appreciative that our driver was contending with the steep grades and narrow highway. We stopped at a shop in Cheticamp, where they make and sell masks. It was much more interesting that we expected – Monique bought two to decorate for our Mardi Gras in California celebration. The next stop was up the road at a museum featuring hook rugs and tapestries in the Elizabeth LeFort Gallery. Impressive! Honestly, the ride was long and the scenery repetitive, but it’s worth devoting a few miles to the historic section of the island.
I NEEDED HER! — I’ve been an Anne Murray fan since the ‘80s. Apparently she has other fans, too, based on the exhibition of her numerous platinum albums, as displayed in the Anne Murray Centre in Springhill, Nova Scotia. I was absolutely amazed realizing the scope of her success, as shown by decades in the twisting
ANOTHER TIME IN ANOTHER PLACE — A Newfoundlandism of interest: this province, which includes Labrador, is a half-hour ahead of Atlantic Time, which is an hour ahead of Eastern Time.
What I haven’t mentioned in this synopsis is the beauty, wildlife and history elements of what we experienced. The Atlantic Provinces are much more than attractions, as I’ll try to convey in the next edition.
From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.
© All photos by Barry Zander. All rights reserved
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